American, b. 1961
Butterfly Chair, 2002
Welded half-dollar coins
33 x 48 x 34 in. (83.8 x 121.9 x 86.4 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation and Margaret T. Morris Foundation
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Johnny Swing’s Butterfly Chair and Nickel Couch straddle the ever-changing boundaries that separate art from everyday life. Butterfly Chair, named for its symmetrical spread-wing form, envelops the sitter and recalls a traditional wing chair. The sinuous form, made with 1,500 half-dollar coins, is supported by a stainless steel tubular frame. Before a single coin was welded, Swing spent months crafting the biomorphic shapes in polyester resin to ensure that people could sit comfortably in these unconventional seats.